With all of the distractions at home, it can sometimes be difficult for work-from-home employees to develop a productive workplace. That being said, the last thing workers in Charlotte, North Carolina, need are runny noses, itchy throats, or asthma flare-ups to put a greater damper on their productivity. Employees who work from home can build a more productive workplace by incorporating some simple strategies to increase their indoor air quality (IAQ). Here are six IAQ strategies for work-from-home employees.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
The need to keep your workspace clean is obvious, right? But this goes deeper than keeping papers in a neat stack on a straightened-up desk. Develop a habit of cleaning those places that sometimes seem less obvious, such as blinds, drapes, and especially air conditioning vents. Dust, dirt, and other allergens find good places to hide, so you need to stay on top of clearing them out. Of all the places in your workspace, remember to vacuum and clean your floors often. Feet track in unbelievable amounts of junk from outside. Once tracked into the floor, allergens are likely to spread and become airborne.
Keep Allergens Outside
On a related note, you can also take measures to make sure fewer unwelcome guests come floating in or are tracked in on shoes. By removing your own shoes, asking guests to remove theirs, and placing a large mat by your door, you can keep many of the insect pieces, dust mites, dirt, and other outdoor irritants from entering your clean-air sanctuary.
Also, be aware of days with bad air quality. If you’re especially sensitive to irritants, keep your windows closed while at home. Just be sure to keep the air moving, because stagnant air is bad air.
Install an Air Cleaner
Hopefully, you already keep up on changing your HVAC air filter (which should be changed about once a month). These filters are great, but they aren’t the most effective allergen-catchers on the market. After all, why have just an allergen-catcher when you can have an allergen-killer. Whole-home air cleaners, which can be installed as a part of your HVAC system, capture more irritants than air filters and often kill those irritants so they never have a chance to bother you again. Air cleaners also require less maintenance than a standard HVAC filter.
Watch Your Humidity
Humidity is a tricky thing. Sometimes, the air inside homes is too dry, which lowers indoor air quality and causes coughing and even nosebleeds. On the other hand, too much humidity in the home can cause mold growth and lead to a host of other issues. Summers in North Carolina often bring an excess of humidity. This humidity can seep into your home and cause the indoor air quality issues we just discussed.
So what’s the remedy? Similar to how an air cleaner can reduce irritants in your air as part of an HVAC system, a whole-home dehumidifier also works with your HVAC system to reduce the humidity in your home to a healthy level (somewhere between 30 and 50 percent humidity).
This strategy is two-fold. First, make sure that your home is not allowing in any unwelcome air through cracks in the seals around doors and windows. Seal them with some extra caulk to contain the cool, healthy air inside your home. Second, don’t let air stand around for too long. When the air outside is healthier than it is on other days, open your windows and get a good breeze running through your home. Breathing in a little outdoor air is much better than breathing in stagnant air that has been re-circulated too much. Be sure to check the pollen count and outdoor air quality online before you do this, though.
Above all, don’t forget to involve your local professional team of indoor air quality experts. We can ensure that your air is as healthy as can be. With our help and these six simple strategies, you’ll be able to develop a home workplace where you can breathe easy and meet those deadlines. If you have more questions regarding indoor air quality or would like professional assistance in improving your workspace’s indoor air quality, give Ross & Witmer a call at 704-392-6188.